Domain gates good as new

The Finishing Company director Craig Bishop in front of the refurbished West Street domain gates. Below: The gates in the spray booth.

Ashburton Domain gates have been brought back to life and earned a local painter and coating specialist recognition for his company’s work.

The gates, located off West Street near the domain office, date back to 1897 and were showing their age before Ashburton District Council commissioned The Finishing Company to clean them up.

Ornate columns holding the gates up were also given a major refresh and were previously green and weather beaten.

Finishing Company director Craig Bishop said it was a satisfying project for him to be involved with.

“It’s one of those once in a lifetime projects where you get to keep history going.”

The two metre high gates were made nearly 125 years and had been very well crafted, he said.

Two big main gates in the centre of the entrance spanned four meters, while gates either side were each a metre wide.

The project was a major logistical exercise, Mr Bishop said.

“It took four of us to lift the big gates off.”

The gates and columns had been touched up over the years, but never completely restored, he said.

The project started with onsite moss treatment of the gates and columns.

The gates were transferred offsite and sandblasted back to bare wrought iron.

Once in the spray booth a coating of zinc primer was applied, followed by a coat of hard drying primer and two coats of epoxy black gloss.

The 1897 date on the centre gates stands out in bright yellow.

The four ornate columns were rendered with construction systems plasters and a final coat sponge finish to match.

The enhancement project has cost $10,000 and earned The Finishing Company a finalist place in the Most Significant Transformation category at this year’s New Zealand Master Painters Awards for Excellence and Workmanship.

The company was also recognised with four gold awards for interior and exterior work completed on three properties around the district.

-By Mick Jensen